Pjanić was born on 2 April 1990 in Tuzla, SFR Yugoslavia, present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, to father Fahrudin and mother Fatima. He developed an interest in football through his father, a former third division footballer in Yugoslavia, and began his football career in Luxembourg following his family’s arrival to the country shortly before the outbreak of the Bosnian War. While in Luxembourg, Pjanić often attended training sessions and matches with his father. At the age of seven, his father discovered that he had the talent and an interest in football and allowed his son to join local club FC Schifflange 95 in Schifflange. While at Schifflange, Pjanić drew interest from several Belgian, Dutch and German clubs, but agreed to join Metz in France in 2004. Pjanić was recommended to Metz by its former player, Luxembourg international Guy Hellers. Due to spending his childhood in Luxembourg, Pjanić became eligible for their national team and begun representing the nation’s youth sides. He represented Luxembourg in the 2006 European Under-17 Championship, for which Luxembourg qualified automatically as hosts. He scored Luxembourg’s only goal of the tournament. In that same year, he scored 4 goals in a match against Belgium, which ended in a 5–5 draw. Before making his decision regarding his national team status, Pjanić was eligible to represent Luxembourg and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In May 2008, during an interview for Bosnian newspaper, Pjanić stated that he wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Eventually, officials in the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina took notice and Pjanić was called-up to the country’s under-21 team. However, because Pjanić no longer had a Bosnian passport and needed FIFA approval to switch nationalities, he wasn’t allowed to be called-up for the senior team. After an eight-month wait and following the involvement of Željko Komšić, a member of the three-person Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pjanić received a Bosnian passport in early 2008. He debuted for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 20 August 2008 in the team’s 1–2 loss to Bulgaria. On 3 March 2010, he scored his first senior international goal in Bosnia’s 2–1 win over Ghana in Sarajevo. Pjanić was instrumental in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s qualification for 2014 FIFA World Cup, their first major competition, and he was named in 23-men squad for the tournament. He debuted in the team’s opening group match, a narrow defeat to Argentina at the Estádio do Maracanã. On 25 June, during the final group match against Iran, Pjanić scored a goal, leading to a 3–1 victory to help Bosnia and Herzegovina to their first ever FIFA World Cup win. Pjanić is a Muslim. He has a son named Edin with his longtime girlfriend, Josepha from Nice. Along with his native Bosnian, Pjanić is fluent in 5 additional languages: Luxembourgish, French, English, German and Italian. Pjanić is enrolled at the University of Sarajevo, majoring in sport and physical education. Throughout the 2017–18 season, Pjanić appeared in the Netflix docu-series called First Team: Juventus.